Friday, June 29, 2007

The Weekend Classic Rock FM

Lansing webcam; current image
68° - sunny at 11am

Welcome to the weekend.

The Conclave
. Sitting home in Michigan, I'm trying to soak up as much as I can from Minneapolis through the trades.

Via R&R - highlights of yesterday's Promotions Summit:

Promotions With No Budget: Maximize exposure at concerts; Expose the station logo during drive times; and partner with local charities.

E-Mail Marketing That Works: "Coupons and discount offers are considered spam" and "utilizing client/product integration, surrounding ads with station information, or adding a client to a strong regular feature."

More Conclave coverage at Radio & Records Online.

The Conclave has a PDF of the promotion session handout on their website. Good tools. Scroll down to find it

iPhone out today. Lots of talk and media coverage. Spots all over the cable networks this week to add to the street buzz.

A dream launch. Very impressive.

Ralph Cipolla of Jacobs Media offers his two cents this morning on whether the phone will be "an iPhenom...or iEdsel"?

Meanwhile - Seth Godin has a piece on "The Verizon guy who turned down the iPhone". Read

And speaking of Seth: Jerry Del Colliano offers a follow-up to Mark Ramsey's interview with Seth Godin on the future of radio.

Jerry writes: "If you're searching for The Dip, look beyond your towers and transmitters. That's what I'm doing. This is a business I want to be in. Do you?" Jerry's entire post

Oldies Radio. Sean Ross writes here about "Oldies' New Lease on Life, Or Maybe An Extended Warranty". PPM changes attitudes. Read it here. Thanks to Dave Martin for the tip.

Have a great weekend. More Sunday.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

July 4th and more

75° - cloudy at 1:30pm

Welcome to Thursday.

Summer book (6/28-9/19) starts today along with The Conclave in Minneapolis.
But you knew that...

On the air - on the 4th

Buffalo's WGRF is doing a "USA to Z" featuring "Classic Rock's greatest songs about life in America."

WCSX/Detroit also on the air with "USA to Z" - promising "All-American bands in alphabetical order, from Aerosmith to ZZ Top.". This will be followed up with a complete A to Z starting on July 9th. Likewise with Milwaukee's WKLH...all day Tuesday and Wednesday.

KSEG/Sacramento is featuring a "Made in the USA Classic Rock A-Z" with all American bands.

In Boston - WZLX is doing "All American Classic Rock Blocks" on Independence Day.

WRXK/Naples is celebrating the 4th by changing their handle from "K-Rock" to "U-Rock" with an all-request Independence Day.
Paducah's WQQR is doing on-air giveaways 4x an hour to caller 4.

July 7th (Saturday)

Premiere Radio Networks will be providing coverage of the "Live Earth" event from noon to 8pm ET.

Premiere reports more than 100 stations signed already.

The broadcast features 9 concerts from 9 countries - including Genesis, The Police, Bon Jovi, Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. Details

Classic rockers on board for Live Earth include
WAXQ/New York and WNRQ/Nashville.

WGRF/Buffalo celebrates 7-7-07 with "The Magnificent Seven" - with listeners voting now to pick classic rock's seven greatest bands. The station will play only those seven "great artists" from 10am-9pm on the 7th.

WKLH/Milwaukee also with "The Magnificent Seven" and listener voting is underway. Did I mention downtown MIlwaukee rocks?

In Billings -
KRKX is doing an abbreviated "Magnificent Seven" - airing one hour that day.

Hope whatever your station does on the 4th or the 7th, you've got some great imaging in the can ready to go!

Paul McCartney: Bob Lefsetz writes
here about seeing Paul perform last night. In the audience: Ringo Starr with Barbara Bach. Olivia Harrison. Joe Walsh. Jeff Lynne. Barbara Orbison.

"Mindblowing" says Bob.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Denny Somach Stirs It Up

With TV's "Mythbusters" on across the room - I had the laptop next to me tonight and took a quick glance at this site's visitor stats.

Looking at the "keywords" typed into Google and Yahoo that brought visitors here, I noticed a large number of queries for one-time WYSP/Philadelphia programmer Denny Somach. Denny has been mentioned here before - but why the big surge in interest?

Doing a fast web search - it turns out Mr. Somach was on the Howard Stern Show this morning to discuss - and give examples of alleged "blatant plagiarism" by the mighty Led Zeppelin. Lots of examples.

Read more on Led Zeppelin's "borrowing" as part of "The Cold Cases of Rock & Roll" on Denny's website

There's a lot of interest in this - given the search engine referrals.

Wednesday Blogs

82° rain - a downpour at 11am - nice!

Last day of the spring book...

From my blogosphere:

Day of Silence. From what I've been able to read this morning, it appears yesterday's effort generated plenty of consumer action.

Bridge Ratings offers the first of a two-part release on the day's impact here (scroll down on page). Jerry Del Colliano offers his thoughts on the day of silence here. Update: Latest RAIN coverage, including links to press articles here.

Performance rights: Clear Channel is asking independent musicians to waive their rights to performance royalties for consideration of airplay- and its something the Future of Music Coalition (FMC) isn't happy with.

Attorney David Oxenford recently discussed the Clear Channel offer on NPR's Morning Edition - and offers more on his blog

My take: Clear Channel is doing the right thing - its a win-win for both broadcaster and artist. You cannot enjoy the benefits of promotional exposure and fairly collect performance royalties for that exposure.

Perhaps the real issue with any coalition or licensing organization might be one of control.

HD Radio. McVay Media's Dave Lange writes "We all know the saying Hindsight is 20/20 all too well. As I keep looking at HD Radio there are so many things that we, as an industry and Ibiquity as a producer, could have improved on."

Read Dave's complete piece - plus comments from some guy in Michigan -

Harland Williams. We wrote here a few months back about actor/comedian Harland Williams and his daily afternoon drive show on Denver's KRFX.

Last week the Rocky Mountain News ran an interview with Harland - discussing how the radio gig came about and how its put together. Read here.

Mark Ramsey with Seth Godin. Mark has his full interview with the Agent of Change - discussing radio's future - both audio and transcript - on his blog here.

Buzz Marketing.
Fred Jacobs offers up some examples of some great buzz marketing campaigns on his blog here. Good read!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Roaring Silence

85° - Sunny at 9:25am

With props to Manfred Mann's Earth Band.

Today is the internet radio day of silence;
designed to bring public awareness to the pending increase in copyright royalty rates that may make the cost of streaming prohibitive to many webcasters.

According to Inside Radio, broadcast groups participating in today's "silence" include Saga, Greater Media, Lincoln Financial and NextMedia.

A quick listen this am had Clear Channel, Citadel and Bonneville streaming as normal. CBS previously announced to trades that it was not participating.

In Detroit, Greater Media's WCSX has a banner on their site explaining the silence.

To the right is the screen you'll see when you click to listen on the website of WKLH/Milwaukee.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday Monday

More for Monday.

Left my radio and ear buds in the car before hopping the ferry to Milwaukee yesterday - just didn't want something else to drag/keep track of on top of cell phone and camera. But that didn't keep me away from classic rock.

While ordering a burger and a brew at Milwaukee's
Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery - the pub's sound system was cranking out the classic rock. Mostly the hits - from someone's "safe list" - but a few surprises too - such as "Paper Sun" by Traffic.

Sitting there - thoroughly enjoying the moment - I noted three words on the beer menu sitting on the bar:
"crafted with passion".

Taking a sip of my Rock Bottom Raccoon Red Ale (excellent), those three words reminded me again that great radio stations are crafted with passion. Passion that assembles all the right ingredients in the right way - and produces a great product. And it starts at the top. Needs to.

I've known some great brewmasters over the years; both in pubs and (as PDs) in radio stations - and they've been led by great pub owners or general managers.

Also had a chance to (finally) pick up Seth Godin's latest "The Dip" yesterday. A great read. Thank you Seth.

The ferry ride was somewhere close to perfect; though today I'm feeling some pain from sunburn and perhaps windburn. I was one of maybe a dozen who spent most of the time on the top deck; and that wind really blows when you're doing 34 knots!

The ride - both ways - was relaxing - and the Lake Express people are pros who have it together. Pulling into Muskegon last night under stars and moonlight was awesome!

I plan to put up a new blog soon on that experience - with photos for the benefit of anyone thinking of making that trek.

Speaking of Milwaukee: Lee Arnold - on his blog - has some great Summer of Love links plus a great piece on the Father of Woodstock: Artie Kornfeld. Cool stuff to check out.

And Lee notes that Artie is available for interviews.

Downtown Milwaukee Rocks!

76° - scattered clouds at 9:45am

Returned early this morning (1:30am) from yesterday's ferry trip to Milwaukee.

What a great downtown area: the architecture, the river, the riverwalk, the attitude. Wow!

More later today.

Left: downtown Milwaukee yesterday

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Weekend Classic Rock FM

70° - scattered clouds at 12:45pm

Friday here already; this week went by too fast.

I'll be heading to Milwaukee to retrieve my 11-year old son who spent this week touring Wisconsin with his best friend (and family) from our old neighborhood in Durango, Colorado.

Rather than do even more driving than last weekend - I'm taking the
Lake Express Ferry across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee and back. New adventure. Will have my pocket radio and ear buds!

Nice Promo:
Country KYGO/Denver held a "belly flop" contest yesterday with contestants competing to win a Mexico trip. Video (windows media) here.

Streaming day of silence:
This Tuesday has been designated as a "day of silence" for America's webcasters to protest (and generate public awareness) of the pending royalty rate hikes.

Only one broadcast group has announced their participation on Tuesday: Greater Media. Read

Jerry Del Colliano writes this morning
on the day of silence here - and asks why more broadcast groups are not participating. Added: another take on the day of silence from consultant Jaye Albright here.

Research. Music researcher Steve Casey blogs - here - about his concerns with giving listeners too much control of your programming - and offers some thoughts.

Seth Godin.
Mark Ramsey has posted chapter 6 of his conversation with Seth Godin - here - a must-listen for all radio management.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Reminiscing In Denver

Today (6/21) - Denver's AAA KCUV celebrates the first day of summer with a "Summer of Love" special - and they're doing it with not only music - but with a reunion of voices from the early days of Denver free-form underground radio - the 60s and 70s.

Very local and so cool. Listening right now. This is similar to what we wrote about doing here.

On the air is former staff of long-defunct Denver stations KLZ-FM and KFML AM & FM - including Bill Clarke, Max Floyd, Jay Cooper, Thom Trunnell and Bill Ashford.

From the KCUV website:

The Summer Of Love, a tribute to radio pioneers who dared to challenge the radio listener to experience a new vision for rock music on the radio, because in 1967, it truly was…. “About the Music”.

Great stories - great tunes - recreating part of Denver radio's past. Even commercials from that era. Congrats to NRC Broadcasting's KCUV for putting this day together.

Listen online here.


Added: Recreating the sound of free-form FM in 1967, KCUV's Summer of Love special lacks all the polished, slick production and execution found on radio today.

With much respect for those involved, I'm not certain I'd do this special the same way; preferring more of a "rock-u-mentry" produced-type approach. That said - what KCUV is doing today is fairly close to what FM was back then.

Cool Cars

74° - scattered clouds at 12:30pm

In the last few months - we've seen lots of Harley giveaways, Jeep and Hummer promotions - even boats and jet skis.

While there's no doubt all those make great giveaways - I think a classic car makes for a cool giveaway; and the right one can stir up some emotions and memories in your listeners.

Vehicles also make for a great sales opportunity as they can travel from remote to remote - generating revenue during the summer months.
Here's a few promotions currently happening in Classic Rock radio:

KKCD/Omaha has classic '71 Monte Carlo for their listeners to win. If it wasn't "cool" in '71, it can fall into that class now. More here.

In Kalamazoo, WRKR has an awesome vehicle: a '67 Camaro. Very sweet and very cool. See here.

Maybe a '75 AMC Pacer could be cool enough to giveaway to listeners. Just thinking. Hey - there's no bad ideas when you're brainstorming....

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

More Great PPM News from Philadelphia

84° - sunny at 6pm

Arbitron released May PPM cume numbers from Philadelphia today.

Once again rock looks great with the cume of classic hits, classic rock and rock up slightly from April's great showing.

From data published on All Access - classic hits WOGL was ranked #2 - followed closely by classic rock WMGK. WMGK moved up from 4 to 3 in rank. Rock WMMR moves from 9 to 8 in market rank.

All Access has the complete Philadelphia PPM cume numbers.

Wednesday Blogs

73° - Sunny at 10:30am

Happy Wednesday...from my blogosphere:

It's all about the audience.
McVay Media's Dave Lange offers up some thoughts for programmers to pass along to their air talent. Read here.

So easy even a consultant can do it. The Geico caveman campaign comes to my mind when I heard this promo (and commentary) passed along by Fred Jacobs.

All in good fun Fred!

Inventory: While writing about Google selling adtime, Greater Media President/CEO Peter H. Smyth asks "How much inventory is enough, and how much is too much?"

Peter comments: "radio is still flush with too many commercial units. For the long term health of the business, we have to address this problem."

As a programmer - I've had my battles over adding units: sometimes successful, sometimes not. Protecting the product a part of the job.

Peter also writes: "
Long term, more inventory doesn't create added profit; it simply reduces the selling price." Read Peter's column here. Pass it up the chain. It all gets down to leadership; and Peter Smyth sounds like a great one to work under.

Classic Rockin' A to Z. I'm likely wrong - but I don't think a top three market radio station has done A to Z in the last five years or more.

Chicago's WDRV kicks off A to Z this Friday - and its going to be interesting to see what effect this might have on the station's spring numbers.

A to Z is usually a AQH magnet.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Getting Patriotic

77° - cloudy at 2pm. Rain earlier.

Good afternoon...

The Fourth of July is coming up...its a Wednesday this year. What is your station doing?

Here's some things we've seen so far:

WBGG/Miami is inviting listeners to sing or play the national anthem - and will play back 12 winning entries on July 4th. Audio and video entries submitted online. Details here. I really like this!

As we mentioned here - KUFX/San Jose holds their annual Kihncert on Sunday, July 1st (with KUFX morning man Greg Kihn).

The station is currently soliciting listener entries for the opportunity to sing The Star Spangled Banner to open the event. More
here. Very cool!

For the people, by the people. WARO/Ft. Meyers is inviting listeners to submit their own 6-song music list to be played back on July 4th. See here.

KIGL/Fayetteville is giving away a catered July 4th barbecue party to a lucky listener. Its the Eagle 93.3 Backyard Bash. More here.

I'm sure we'll see/hear more as we approach the end of the month. Feel free to share!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday Monday

86° - sunny at 11am

The start of a great week.

The importance of relationships.
This week - Mark Ramsey is devoting his blog to "7 Days of Seth" - with a 7-part audio interview with Seth Godin. Seth provides a great perspective.

Part 2 of Mark's interview with Seth - posted
here this morning - touches on making the best of radio's assets - and developing relationships with your listeners. Seth suggests turning your radio station into the "go to" source for your listeners.

I couldn't agree more.

Stationality. McVay Media's Daniel Anstandig - who've I had the pleasure of chatting with more than a few times - has posted Part 3 of his stationality series on the McVay website. Daniel directs this to AC - but its relevant to all radio formats. Read here.

Added: Paul McCartney's ne
w CD still #1 for second straight week (with sales up 40%) per Street Pulse via All Access.

Added: Britney Spears not happy with WFLZ/Tampa billboards. Story and board photos from The Smoking Gun here.

Later This Week:

Tuesday (6/19) Bon Jovi on NBC-TV's Today Show
Wednesday (6/20) The Blues Brothers movie released this day in 1980
Wednesday (6/20) Bon Jovi on ABC-TV's The View
Friday (6/22) Chicago and America on NBC-TV's Today Show
Friday (6/22) Def Leppard on ABC-TV's Jimmy Kimmel Live
Saturday (6/23) Jefferson Starship on NBC-TV's Weekend Today Show

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday Morning Odds & Sods

77° - sunny & humid at 11am

Happy Father's Day

Listening this morning to Milwaukee's WKLH online. Both the syndicated "Flashback" show and Steve Palec's Rock & Roll Roots. Steve devoting his show this morning to the legendary Les Paul (the "father" of the electric guitar).

Steve: how do you gather/organize all those great soundbites???
Great radio to accompany good coffee on the back deck.

Chicago. Did the quick road trip yesterday. After meeting up with Colorado friends at the Museum of Science and Industry, it was dinner together at Uno. During our hour table wait, all seven of us walked down State Street to Wacker; then back on Michigan Avenue; some of that during a light Chicago rain. Good times.

Last night's Uno pizza meal seemed to be missing something; not quite the taste experience I remember - but its been 30 years; just might be me. When you go back is it ever the same?

Driving back to Michigan last night - listened to Chicago radio vet Bobby Skafish doing a weekend shift on WDRV. Skafish a very nice addition to the Drive airstaff!

Number one 12-plus. I spent time on Friday listening to Seattle's KZOK - a classic rock station that earned the overall top spot in its market in the winter book and again in the first phase of spring.

KZOK just does a lot of things right - from its on-air personalities to its imaging to its music. You feel the city (plus get the occassional music surprise on the air). Give KZOK a listen when you can.

Have a great Sunday.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Weekend Classic Rock FM

80° - sunny at 10:30am

Good Morning.

Tomorrow we're making a day trip to the Windy City to meet up with some neighbors from our Colorado days.

They've invited our oldest son to spend a week with them and their son as they travel the midwest. Plan to catch a museum and Chicago deep-dish pizza.

Haven't been to Pizzeria Uno (or Duo) since my Chicago CBS Radio days in the 70s.
Next weekend: a drive to Milwaukee to pick my son up.

Records & radio: There might be a new line item on your budget - if the record industry gets their way. Imagine performance rights fees for radio for airplay (and promoting music sales).

I thought for the longest time they wanted to pay radio to play songs. Now they want it the other way around. I'm so confused. They want to bite the hand that feeds them. Just last week Sony/BMG attempted to stop radio - here - from playing an album track that wasn't even on their label! Its got to be tough for record company promo man with all this going on.

Mark Ramsey has his take on performance fees
here. And Jerry Del Colliano offers up some radical thinking here.

Companies protect their PD talent. In his daily Radio-Info.Com newsletter this morning, Tom Taylor speculates that some recent promotions of PDs around the country were done to keep them in place. Read Tom's newsletter and subscribe for free here.

More Sunday Morning. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fathers Day

80° - Sunny at 11:50 AM

Father's Day is Sunday.

Many classic rockers are doing some additional "fathers day" imaging to run during the weekend; I've reimaged - for instance - a "rock block weekend" into "the Father's Day rock block weekend".

Found a few taking it a little bit further:

Similar to their Mother's Day weekend, WMGK/Philadelphia is doing a "Father's Day Request Weekend". Work Network members who get their request on the air also score Genesis tix.

WWEG/Hagerstown, MD is doing a "Founding Fathers of Rock" weekend.

More here tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wednesday Blogs

81° - Sunny at 10am

From my blogosphere:

Share of Mind.
John Moore via Consultant Alan Mason here on the "The Visionary's Handbook". John points to some thoughts from the book that makes things like this very important for share of mind.

This is all about marketing for actual listenership.
And Mark Ramsey writes about that topic as it applies to PPM here.

Your station's vibe.
Not on air - but around the office and studio. Seth Godin writes that "the vibe changes everything". Read here.

Your internal vibe. Still excited about what you do? If not, Jay Trachman here with some ways to get out of your rut. Added: David Martin here - this morning - on enjoying what you do.

Seth Godin on radio.
Next week Mark Ramsey's blog presents "7 Days of Seth" - with the "Agent of Change" sharing thoughts on the future of radio as well as his new book "The Dip". More here.

The Conclave. Dave Lange writes here on this year's event in Minneapolis; wish I was attending, but the Kelley family budget is just too tight. Next year perhaps.

Both the Conclave and Dan O'Day's PD Grad School are the best values for the dollar for any programmer - if you've got the budget - personal or company.

McCartney. Street Pulse reporting via All Access that Paul McCartney's "Memory Almost Full" debuted at the #1 position for overall sales this week. Paul is working this one hard - and with radio. Stations around the country have been sending listeners to a secret, private "invitation only" performance.

The cynic in me. The past few days I've had Court TV on as I do other work - watching the Duke prosecutor hearing and Phil Spector's trial.

Oreo Cookies has been running a saturation campaign on the channel with what they're trying to pass off as YouTube-style CGM commercials. They just appear to be a bit too perfect to pass my " B.S. Test". I could be wrong, but....